Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King's Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King's head on a spike.
Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters. All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.
But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King's dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn...
The idealistic young King Paelis is dead and the Greatcoats - legendary travelling magistrates who brought justice to the Kingdom - have been branded as traitors. But just before his head was impaled on a spike, the King swore each of his hundred and forty-four Greatcoats to a different mission.
Falcio Val Mond, First Cantor, with the help of fellow Greatcoats Kest and Brasti, has completed his King's final task: he has found his Charoites - well, one at least, and she was not quite what they expected. Now they must protect the girl from the many who would see her dead, and place her on the throne of a lawless kingdom. That would be simple enough, if it weren't for the Daishini, an equally legendary band of assassins, getting in their way, not to forget the Dukes who are determined to hold on to their fractured Kingdoms, or the fact that the heir to the throne is only thirteen years old. Oh, and the poison that is slowly killing Falcio.
How do you kill a Saint?
Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they've started with a friend.
The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors - a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he'll still have to face him in battle.
And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.
There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your fifteenth year. Kellen is just a few weeks shy of his birthday and he's about to learn that he won't be doing any of those things.
Spellslinger is fantasy adventure with a Western flavour and the occasional talking raccoon.
After being shortlisted for both the 2014 Gemmell Awards for Best Fantasy Debut and the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fantasy, the acclaimed swashbuckling adventures of the Greatcoats continues with Saint's Blood, arriving in stores on April 7th, 2016.
Sebastien de Castell writes novels about swashbuckling fantasy and the occasional weird detective. His books are published in English, German, French and, quite to his surprise, one even came out in Bulgarian.
He currently lives in The Netherlands with his lovely wife and two belligerent cats.
A background in sword choreography doomed Sebastien to write books about swashbuckling heroes who get their asses handed to them. Occasionally there's a talking raccoon with a propensity for blackmail and murder thrown in for good measure.
You can reach him at his first name @ decastell dot com.
"An all-round brilliant fantasy debut, and one of the best I’ve read in a decade."
Civilian Reader - February 14th, 2014
"Traitor's Blade is the first 'new' fantasy of 2014 that met and even exceeded my expectations and for the reasons above takes its place in my top 25 of the year to date. "
Fantasy Book Critic - February 24th, 2014
"I adored these characters. I cannot wait for the sequel."
The BiblioSanctum - February 19th, 2014
"Some books you can’t put down. This one won’t even let you try; it whirls you along in a wild dance of fights, treachery, and jaw-dropping surprises."
Dave Duncan, award-winning author of King of Swords
Sebastien de Castell had just finished a degree in Archaeology when he started work on his first dig. Four hours later he realized how much he actually hated archaeology and left to pursue a very focused career as a musician, ombudsman, interaction designer, fight choreographer, teacher, project manager, actor, and product strategist. His only defence against the charge of unbridled dilettantism is that he genuinely likes doing these things and that, in one way or another, each of these fields plays a role in his writing. He sternly resists the accusation of being a Renaissance Man in the hopes that more people will label him that way.
Sebastien lives in Vancouver, Canada with his lovely wife and two belligerent cats.
Great fantasy novels give us a perspective on people and themes that bypass the baggage of our daily lives. They don't just transport us to other worlds--they help us re-enchant the one we live in. That's my goal.
Sebastien de Castell's fantasy novel "Traitor's Blade" comes out in February 2014 from Quercus (US & UK) and Penguin (Canada)